Exploring Puglia – so photogenic

From Ceglie Messapica we had driven the short distance to Cisternino – a charming old town that has remained virtually intact for centuries.

The old tradition of village men sitting round chatting
Cisternino was a charming old own….

We strolled through the narrow, shady streets gazing at the whitewashed houses, historic churches and elegant central piazza that opens out onto a series of panoramic view points.

…with narrow shady streets
….historic churches
….whitewashed houses

From the viewing points we had a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside, with its rolling hills, dry stone walls and white-tipped conical trulli roofs.

…and panoramic views

Our next destination was just ten kilometres down the road to the really beautiful town of Locorotondo – purported to be “Puglia’s prettiest little town”.

Locorotondo – “Puglia’s prettiest little town”
It had graceful piazzas
With a labyrinth of white alleys,
Gorgeous stairways
And flowers everywhere
Plants were grown in every possible space – on balconies…

We had a wonderful time wandering through the labyrinth of white alleys, lanes and stairways of the Centro storico. It was an absolutely stunning and being off-season extremely quiet.

…on the banisters of stairs
A colourful display of another kind
A dedication to Also Moro, former Italian prime minister kidnapped and assassinated by the Red Brigade in 1977
The clock tells us it’s almost lunchtime

While meandering round the alleyways we found a a typical Italian restaurant – checked tablecloths and all – called Trattoria Al Vecchio Arco and had a delightful meal there.

Trattoria Al Vecchio Arco
The food was delicious

The owner, Pasquale, explained there was no menu and we said we’d be happy to eat whatever his wife had cooked that day. The food was delicious but for us, far too plentiful – not wishing to be rude we ate as much as we could of the dishes put in front of us and waddled out feeling just too full.

…but there was far too much of it

We also tried the local white wine for which the city is famous – it was very fruity in style and a bit sweet for our taste but pleasant nonetheless.

More beautiful plants growing in a narrow alleyway
The restaurant entrances were quite unobtrusive
A novel way of planting a garden

From Locorotondo we drove on to Alberobello where there are 1,400 trulli (hobbit houses) within the city. The traffic was pretty crazy as we approached so we decided to keep going towards Polignano, a resort town on the Adriatic Coast.

We called the trulli “hobbit houses” and you can see why

All the campervan parks appeared to be closed so we ended up parked in roadway near marina (what a surprise!)

Arriving in Polignano

After settling in we decided to go for a walk to look at the yachts but the marina’s security guard had other ideas. Then we said the magic words “but we have a boat” and he let us in and introduced us to Fiorenzo, the very charming and friendly manager who suggested that we park right outside the marina the following day so that his security guard could watch over the van while we explored Polignano.

We always gravitate to where yachts are

He was very informative about what to see and where to go in the local area and lent us a beautiful coffee table book to browse through overnight. In the light of a glorious full moon we had a lovely wander around the marina before returning to the van for the night.

The beautiful book Fiorenzo lent us
In the light get of a glorious full moon we walked round the marina

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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